If you plan to renovate your home while living in it, realize ahead of time that it’s not for the faint of heart. Whether your remodel is big or small, it will shake up your normal routine and likely restrict your household movements for a period of time. Bigger renovations might even leave you kitchen-less or bedroom-less for a while. These changes will bring stress to an already stressful environment, which explains why some couples choose not to renovate at all. There are, however, a few tried and true survival strategies that will help you make it through your renovation days.
Plan to break your budget
Budget what you think your renovation will cost, and then assume you’ll exceed that amount by 25 to 30 percent. If, during the course of your home improvement, you decide you want to spend a little more on your flooring or that new vanity, try to figure out places where you can save money. Maybe choose a different countertop or less expensive wallpaper.
Keep his and her tastes in mind
To create a tension-free zone, try to compromise on major styling choices. Your husband doesn’t want to live in a girly, frilly home just like you don’t want to live in a man cave. Jennifer Clark, a real estate agent and owner of a design and staging firm, said, “Couples often clash over a color-filled ‘female’ design and one that feels more ‘male.’” She said people often think of wallpaper as being feminine, “So we compromise, and just do one accent wall.”
Plan your design
Before your project even begins, make sure you know what direction you want to take it in. It will just be that much more stressful for you if in the middle of directing contractors you have to be choosing flooring materials or paint colors. Use design boards, Pinterest, or just walk around your local home improvement store so you know what your style is and what design motifs you want to focus on.
Be professional and patient
When things aren’t going right, it’s easy to turn on one another. Clark’ husband Steve said when the two of them work together on renovation projects, “I [Steve] sometimes speak to Jennifer as if she were one of my soldiers or employees. We should treat each other better than our employees.”
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